"On Christmas Eve, many years ago, I lay quietly in my bed. I did not rustle the sheets. I breathed slowly and silently. I was listening for a sound — a sound a friend had told me I'd never hear — the ringing bells of Santa's sleigh. 'There is no Santa,' my friend had insisted, but I knew he was wrong. Late that night I did hear sounds, though not of ringing bells. From outside came the sounds of hissing steam and squeaking metal. I looked through my window and saw a train standing perfectly still in from of my house."
Copyright (C) 1985 by Chris Van Allsburg. All rights reserved.
holachica31, December 13, 2009 (view all comments by holachica31)
i first read this book with my first grade class, from then on i've read it every year since. i would recommend this to anyone. it captures the feeling of christmas amzingly. it is a must read, its good for nights spent by the fire drinking hot chocolate.
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brunettegal418, January 2, 2008 (view all comments by brunettegal418)
This wonderful children's book captures the true meaning of innocent childhood, love, and the act of believing. This is a must read for people of all ages who want a book with deliciously drawn pictures, simple yet thought provoking words, and the sweet message of loving and believing. Chris Van Allsburg has written a true masterpeice!
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Houghton Mifflin Company -
Could a bookseller's favorite book really be a children's Christmas picture book? I am often asked to name my favorite book an impossible question to answer, really and I find myself mentioning The Polar Express time and again (not without a small amount of embarrassment aren't I supposed to come up something just a bit more erudite?). The Polar Express does exactly what every good book should do it draws you in from the very first, pulls you along, and leaves you sad to turn the final page. But it will also give you a renewed appreciation for the importance of wonder and magic in our daily world. Chris Van Allsburg's mysterious yet enchanting illustrations will captivate you with each reading I find myself poring over every page, exploring newfound details.
by Noel Perrin, The New York Times Book Review,
"[T]he pictures may be the best he's done. There is nothing cute here, rather there is something I would have to call majestic."
by School Library Journal,
"The telling is straight, thoughtfully clean-cut and all the more mysterious for its naive directness....The full-page images are theatrically lit....Van Allsburg's express train is one in which many of us wish to believe."
by The New York Times,
"A publishing phenomenon — an established picture-book classic."
by American Bookseller,
"Even the most hardened Santa doubters might find in The Polar Express the faith to believe again."
by Horn Book,
"As always, the forms are sculptured, the perspectives as dazzling as they are audacious, the colors rich and elegant, the use of light and shadow masterly."
The classic holiday favorite is now available in a newly designed gift package, featuring a dramatic reading by Liam Neeson, a hardcover copy of The Polar Express, and a keepsake bell with ribbon.
A magical train ride on Christmas Eve takes a boy to the North Pole to receive a special gift from Santa. Winner of the1986 Caldecott Medal.
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.